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Royals Rumblings - News for September 7, 2016

Stop winning, other teams.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Minnesota Twins Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for September 7, 2016

Rany Jazayerli writes that the Royals’ playoff hopes are down to their last gasp.

While more strikeouts have only a weak correlation with a worse offense overall, as more strikeouts can be the byproduct of swinging for the fences, the ability to make contact has value when trying to drive in the tying run from third base with less than two outs, and twice in the past week, the Royals lost a game in large part because they failed to do just that. While putting the ball in play can lead to a double play, it can also lead to defensive miscues that turn a game around. The 2014–2015 Royals were as good as any team in modern history at cashing in during those situations. The 2016 Royals are not. The 2014–2015 Royals always turned a late-inning lead into a win. The 2016 Royals have not.

So, after a 2–4 homestand which was a few flaps of a butterfly’s wings away from being 6–0, the Royals now need to leapfrog four teams with four weeks left in the season. Their playoff odds have dropped below 5 percent again. They are in dire straits. They need a miracle.

Ken Rosenthal thinks the Royals need more sluggers next year.

Obviously, it's difficult to argue with the Royals, whose contact approach produced back-to-back AL titles, and makes sense given the vast acreage at Kauffman Stadium.

Yet, it also stands to reason that the team could use more line-drive hitters, if not outright sluggers.

Teams know what they want -- hitters who frequently produce launch angles between 10 and 30 degrees, which generally is considered the sweet spot for line drives.

The Royals need more of those players.

Matt Strahm has been battling a bicep injury.

The case of biceps tendinitis helps explain why Strahm was not available on Sunday — or in any game since. Yost said the issue surfaced near the end of the weekend.

“It’s very slight,” Yost said. “It’s just the beginning stages of biceps tendinitis. If we catch it early, he’ll be able to pitch through it.”

Lorenzo Cain hopes to be back in the lineup by Friday, after battling a wrist injury.

Last Tuesday, the Royals elected to give Cain an injection and a few days to rest. But Cain said his hand strength has been slow to return, and he would likely have to play through the injury for the rest of the season.

“It’s probably not going to feel a lot better than it did,” Cain said. “But I feel like I need to be in the lineup.”

Sam Mellinger looks forward to 2017.

Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, and Yordano Ventura are locks for the rotation. Dillon Gee will likely be back through arbitration, and Chris Young has one more year on his contract and should be given the chance to be more of 2015 than 2016. Matt Strahm will have the chance to earn a rotation spot, too.

I believe the Royals should offer Edinson Volquez a one-year qualifying offer. That would mean more than $16 million, which I know sounds crazy for a pitcher with a 5.02 ERA, but a few points:

▪ He is unfailingly reliable — with his next start, Volquez will have at least 30 in five straight seasons — and there is a lot of value in reliability. Only three pitchers have started more games in the last five years

▪ Just last year, he was the best starting pitcher on the World Series champions, which is pretty decent.

▪ The old baseball line says there is no such thing as a bad one-year contract.

Mike Axisa at CBS Sports documents how the Royals bullpen has been bad the last week.

Eric Hosmer is the Royals nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award for philanthropy.

John Viril at Kings of Kauffman wonders if Josh Staumont can make the jump to the big leagues next year.

The case for Jose Altuve as your AL MVP.

The National League Cy Young race is a mess.

Were the Mets right to shut down Matt Harvey last year?

Dansby Swanson hits his first MLB home run - an inside-the-parker.

The Twins are considering former Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos for their head job.

A look back at some of the celebrities that spent some time as minor leaguers.

Troy Aikman is not at all pleased that FOX has hired Skip Bayless.

Top basketball recruit DeAndre Ayton chooses Arizona over Kansas.

The closing of ITT Tech could cost taxpayers $500 million.

NASA is going to land on an asteroid after one nearly destroyed Earth.

How Donald Glover’s new FX show Atlanta gets the city’s surreal renaissance just right.

Your song of the day is The Fratellis with Creepin Up the Backstairs.